A Family Takes Action for Hunger Relief
At the start of the pandemic, when the world seemed to shut down, many families felt the struggle of trying to put food on the table. Food lines wrapped around city blocks across the country and here in Minnesota.
Charlie and Christopher Jones, brothers who grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis before moving to Illinois and North Dakota, saw those heartbreakingly long food lines while traveling to and from the metro to visit their parents. The whole family knew they wanted to help—together.
Charlie and Christopher’s parents, who have a Donor Advised Fund at the Minneapolis Foundation, had already been working with their Philanthropic Advisor to chart a course for their charitable giving in support of education, an issue they are passionate about. But after witnessing such an urgent need for hunger relief, they sat down with the Foundation to come up with a plan to make a difference on both issues at once.
“Education has always been a solid foundation on which to build. It’s hard to focus in school if you’re hungry.” — Charlie Jones
At the family’s request, Philanthropic Advisor Jenny Johnson and the Philanthropic Services team got to work, researching a list of organizations that provide critical services at the intersection of education and food insecurity. After reaching out to each one for more information, Jenny reported back on her findings, and the Jones family chose several nonprofits to support through their Donor Advised Fund.
Recognizing that hunger affects people everywhere, the Jones family knew they wanted to direct resources to greater Minnesota as well as the metro area. So, with Jenny’s help, they connected with United Way of Northeast Minnesota. Thanks to the organization’s Buddy Backpack program, children who are at risk of going hungry over the weekends instead go home with backpacks filled with nutritious food.
After seeing the impact of their giving, the Jones family wants to do more: With Jenny’s support, they recently reached out to their grant recipients again to ask how they can pitch in with summer food programs.
“Hunger is one of those issues that affects everyone in a family—children, parents, grandparents. The Jones family is a great example of how families can come together to make an impact on a generational issue like hunger with generational giving” — Jenny Johnson